Conditions for escape of a rotor in a rotary nanobearing from short triple-wall nanotubes

J Shi and LN Liu and K Cai and QH Qin, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 6772 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07184-x

In a short nanobearing system made from carbon nanotubes, the rotor with high rotational frequency may escape from the stator, which may cause a stability problem to the system of a nanodevice with such a nanobearing. In the present work, nanobearings with tri-walled nanotubes are investigated to reveal the conditions for the moving away of the free inner tube from the high-speed rotating middle tube. Experimental results show that the escape happens when the radii difference between the two rotors is larger than 0.34 nm and the rotational frequency of the middle tube is higher than a critical value. And before the escape occurs, the rotational frequency of the inner tube is lower than this critical value. Due to the radii difference being larger than 0.34 nm, the two rotors are non-coaxial, and the centrifugal force of the inner tube results in strong radial and axial interactions between the edges of the two rotors. When the relative sliding speed is relatively high, an edge of the inner rotor will pass through the potential barrier at the adjacent edge of the middle rotor, and further escape from the middle rotor occurs. The selection of a longer middle rotor with smaller radius can increase the critical rotational frequency of the middle rotor.

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